Damian Cudlin was wrongly shown the black flag during the Australian Grand Prix and afterwards Race Direction apologised to the PBM rider for the confusion. Racing in front of his home fans Cudlin had hoped for a stronger race performance but having had a difficult time all weekend struggling with the wind and braking issues the 19 lap race was very difficult.
The black flag disqualification was for pitting outside the pit window, like Marc Marquez and Bryan Staring, but after the race Cudlin confirmed the cause of the issue was simple confusion from Race Direction:
“I had come in on lap nine and swapped bikes but had a brake problem on the second bike,” said the Australian. “So I had to pit again after a couple of laps and that confused the stewards. I went out on the same front but a new rear. To be honest I wasn’t sure if they’d exclude me or not because I saw the black flag and my number but I just couldn’t understand what it was for and with only a few laps together I thought that I’d just get to the finish. Luckily I did because race control have since come to me and apologised for it and given me the race finish.”
Racing in flag to flag conditions was difficult for Cudlin, in just his third race as a replacement rider in MotoGP with PBM with the difficultly increased by not having the same settings on both bikes:
“I’d say that if you could get two bikes that really feel the same as each other that jumping from one to the other wouldn’t be a big deal but developing a bike like we’re doing is different so there’s different parts and elements on each bike. Also the weight distribution, seating position and handlebar positions are different so that’s a bit harder but honestly if the brakes were working OK it wouldn’t have been a big issue.”
Cudlin will now look to move on to the next race of the season at Motegi where he has past MotoGP experience having ridden for Pramac Ducati in 2011.